Interview: Lindsey Buck of Tonic Polish

I told you to remember the name Lindsey Buck didn’t I? If you’re asking yourself, ‘what is she talking about?’ then you must not have read my review on Tonic’s Debut Collection. Its a must read in my opinion because¬†her polishes are…simply gorgeous! If you read it, thank you. If not, we will wait for you to catch up….SO GO READ IT NOW!!! ūüôā

Done? Good! Now we can all move along.

Today, Lindsey¬†is back,¬†but in a different way. I had the opportunity to ask Lindsey some probing questions about herself and her business and here’s what she had to say.

photo provided courtesy of Lindsey Buck

Name – Lindsey Buck
Location – Iowa

Q: Birthday
A: March 29

Q: Rock Band or Classical Orchestra?
A: Classical orchestra

Q: Morning or Night?
A: morning

Q: Meat and potatoes or soup and salad?
A: meat!!

Q: Summer or Winter?
A: both?! I love all the seasons fully represented¬†– hot balmy summer’s, cold snowy winters!

Q: Night on the town with friends or evening alone at home?
A: I want to answer both to all of these! Can I say evening at home with friends?

Q: Heels or flats
A: heels

Q: If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
A: Going to keep it simple! A bird so I could fly

Q: When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line? What makes your brand different?
A: My mom is an artist. For most of my life she’s had a workshop in her basement where she creates amazing jewelry entirely by hand. I spend most of my youth watching her then later helping her make things. Summers we would travel around the Midwest going to art shows where my sister and I would help her run a booth selling her one-of-a-kind pieces. She passed her entrepreneurial spirit on to me from a young age. As much as I love jewelry I was always more interested in other kinds of wearables. I loved clothes, knitting, and nail polish and eventually attended college for fashion design. After graduating I went to New York where I worked for almost 8 years as a fashion designer, most recently specializing in sweater design. When my husband and I decided we wanted to have kids I was ready to take a break from the fashion industry, and we weren’t too keen on trying to have very young kids in NYC. We decided to move back to Iowa to be close to our families for a while. I’m very happily staying home with my boys now but have gotten to the point where I need to do something for myself that isn’t kid-related too. My great love of polish and desire to do something where I could be creative and make a tangible product again led me to polish making. I think all of my life experience, learning to make things and run a small business from my mom, designing in the fashion industry, etc. have made starting an indie brand a pretty natural fit for me! Actually starting the line was something my husband suggested. He saw how much I loved the indie polish world and said to me, “hey, you love to make things! Why not try to turn this passion into something where you can make stuff?” It’s something I had secretly wanted to do for years but was nervous to admit it. As soon as he said that I realized it was time to try!

Q: What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
A: When I was I kid nail polish fumes used to make me really crabby. Anytime I was in a salty mood my friends would say, “have you been painting your nails?” Nine times out of 10 the answer was yes. Thank goodness for 3-free and 5-free indies, I’ve never had that problem with them!

Q: What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own polish company?
A: Experimentation is key. You have to be willing to try a million different things to see how they all work and figure out which ones you like best. Most of my mixing is just being curious about how different ingredients react to one another. For every decent polish I make there are probably 20 I make that are garbage, and it’s important to me to be okay with that so I’m not afraid to try crazy things that could result in something cool. Before choosing a final lineup for my first collection I spent months mixing hundreds of different colors trying to find just 8 that I thought were worthy. Also very important: keep detailed recipes of everything you make!!

Q: Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
A: All of them!! I don’t stick to just a few brands I love to try lots of different ones. Some of my current favorites are: BaronessX, Dreamland, Emily de Molly, ILNP, FUN, Cupcake, Anonymous, Grace-full, Femme Fatale, Vapid, Crows Toes, A England, Literary, CbL, Bear Pawlish, Lilypad, Takko, Enchanted, Digital Nails, Girly Bits, Lilypad, Indigo Bananas… I also collect HHCs and currently own every one that’s ever been for sale!

Q: Describe yourself in 5 words
A: Introverted, thoughtful, mother, romantic, dreamer

Q: What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
A: Only one collection in but I really love every polish from it! I guess when I made Light of Lyra I was super excited and felt like it was truly something extra special.

Q: What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
A: Spending time with my family, reading, and knitting

Q: How did you come up with your company name and logo?
A: My husband works in advertising and marketing so I like to run all of this sort of design stuff by him. One day we just started talking through concepts that I related to. Previously I was thinking of doing a play on my name, Buck, with like a deer head design and my husband pointed out that it implied hunting and that’s really not something I personally relate to. So we chatted about other logo designs and marketing concepts that I did like and I was thinking about going with something art deco and sort of Guimard-y. Then we were talking about one of our favorite bars in NYC called Apotheke and also this little antique glass medicine bottle I found at the old abandoned train track behind our house. We started tossing around ideas of apothecary themes and Tonic was kind of born out of that discussion!

Q: If you weren’t in the indie polish business, what’s another product you would have liked to create?
A: I spent a lot of time in my previous career creating clothing. But there was a time between that and deciding on polish making when I was considering writing and selling knitting patterns for stuffed animals I design.

Q: Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
A: Still honing colors for my next collection, but I am working on a very moody, sultry, dreamy color I’m thinking of offering as an LE group exclusive!

Q: In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
A: A dose of Tonic will cure all your ills!

Q: What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
A: I love having a physical product that I have creative control over, get to produce, and share with others. I’ve always loved polish enabling and I’m so thrilled that I get to do it with my own now! I also love the direct access between customer and maker.¬†

Q: What other brand (just 1) would you like to collaborate with or have already collaborated with?
A: So hard to choose just one but I’d have to go with Dreamland. Smitten was one of my first great indie polish loves, and I think her creativity and versatility are outstanding! Plus Noelie herself seems like such a solid and lovely person.

Q: Favorite nail art technique?
A: Reverse stamping! Also love to gradient. Wish I could water marble but I’m terrible at it.

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment to date with your brand?
A: Starting it!

Next collection?! Limited Edition Group Exclusive?! Yes, please. I am waiting with baited breath to see what else she comes up with and if you join me back here in 5 days (8/1), I’ll show…shhhhhhh! I promise you wont want to miss it :)!

Be sure to join and follow Lindsey and Tonic Polish

Facebook Fan Group / Instagram


Disclosure: The questions above were sent to the featured maker (FM) for review and response. The FM was advised they could omit responses from any question they were not comfortable with answering. The responses are directly from the FM and have not been altered in any way, shape or form. The comments and responses expressed in this interview are those of the FM and the FM alone.